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The creative process

Obedience and liberty in creativity

A great work, I believe, is made out of a combination of obedience and liberty. Such a work satisfied the mind, together with that curious thing which is artistic emotion. Stravinsky said, “If I were permitted everything, I would be lost in the abyss of liberty.” On the one hand he knew the limits, on […]

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The creative process

Feed the inner beast

Lou Dorfsman, design chief for CBS Radio and later the CBS Television Network for over 40 years, once said, “In reality, creativity is the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.” However, nothing comes from nothing. You must continuously feed the inner beast that sparks and inspires. I […]

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The creative process

The double life of an artist

People are mistaken thinking that the creative artist uses art to express what he feels at the very moment of experience. Joy and sorrow are feelings expressed retrospectively. Without any particular cause for rejoicing I can be immersed in a mood of happy creativity and, conversely, I can produce, when cheerful, a piece saturated in […]

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The creative process

Waiting for inspiration

The composer does not sit around wait wait for inspiration to walk up and introduce itself … Making music is actually little else than a matter of invention aided and abetted by emotion. In composing we combine what we know of music with what we feel. — George Gershwin Isaac Goldberg. Tin Pan Alley. New […]

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The creative process

Write over improvise

If Heaven has bestowed on you a fine imagination, you will often be seated at your piano in solitary hours, as if attached to it; you will desire to express the feelings of your heart in harmony, and the more clouded the sphere of harmony may perhaps be to you, the more mysteriously you will […]

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The creative process

Shedding light on what is invisible

When we create something, whether it’s a one-woman show, a video animation, a poem, a song, whatever—we’re taking what’s inside of us and stepping it out. Now it can be shown or heard. Now it can be experienced, transmitted. Now it can be shared. When it’s shared, parts of us that were once invisible, hidden, […]

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The creative process

The healing power of creativity

So creativity helps us to be seen, expressed, and healed. This is fantastic! But I just recently had a bit of an epiphany and tapped into a deeper truth while talking with my old love. Being expressed, healed, and seen is actually a service to humanity. A gift to the world. When we are expressed, […]

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The creative process

The source of inspiration

For me, inspiration comes from a bunch of places: desperation, deadlines… A lot of times ideas will turn up when you’re doing something else. And, most of all, ideas come from confluence — they come from two things flowing together. They come, essentially, from daydreaming. . . . And I suspect that’s something every human […]

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The creative process

Whatever we are faced with, people will continue to create

Gus Fairbairn (aka Alabaster dePlume) on the challenges of the 2020 pandemic: There is an invitation for me to respond to this pandemic with frustration, but it has allowed me the time to not spend all summer playing festivals and actually focus on my own creativity. It’s all gold. Go forth in the courage of your love as […]

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The creative process

You don’t need permission to create

Gus Fairbairn (aka Alabaster dePlume) on the success of his album, To Cy & Lee: I was not expecting that with this piece of work. I made them not thinking that anyone would want to listen to them. It all goes to show that no one will give you permission to make the great things […]